Archive for March, 2012

Northeast Regional Council’s Grant Supports Grow-Your-Own Nursing and Health Care Efforts

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Guest Columnist Brittney Moore
Assisted by Former Fellow Mallory White

Carrie*, a mother of three and resident of Fort Morgan, Colorado, wanted to become a nurse. So, she began her educational journey at Morgan Community College (MCC), located in the northeast corner of Colorado. She quickly realized, however, that in order to finance her education, she would have to take out a significant amount of student loans. As a mother of three children, providing for her family was still a priority and accruing debt greatly worried her. Fortunately, Carrie qualified for a scholarship that was funded by El Pomar Foundation’s Northeast Regional Council and was distributed through MCC’s nursing school. Carrie’s future as a nursing student suddenly seemed more affordable and attainable.


Educating Our Youth, Get In There!

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Ben Jourdan


I had not walked into an elementary school classroom for at least 10 years until this past Thursday. As I strolled down the halls of finger paintings, science projects, and PTA posters with the 4th grader who was escorting me to her class, it hit me. I was on the front lines. (more…)

Second-Year Fellows Participate in Ferrand Fund Process

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

The final professional development exercise for El Pomar Fellows is in full swing—the Ferrand Fund process. Established in 2005, the Ferrand Fund is a grantmaking opportunity for second-year fellows to honor the will of Dorothy Ferrand and at the same time put into practice much of what they’ve been learning about philanthropy by making grant recommendations to the trustees.


El Pomar Grantee Gets Tournament Rollin’

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Yesterday afternoon Fellows Stephanie South and Virginia Woodfork represented El Pomar Foundation at a VIP scrimmage hosted by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. The game brought together NWBA athletes and prominent community members—including Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach, Colorado Springs Sports Corporation CEO Tom Osborne, and Colorado Springs Fire Chief Richard Brown—to participate in a game of wheelchair basketball. The verdict from the community members was unanimous—this sport is incredibly difficult.


Staying Connected and Doing Good, On The Go

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

We live in an increasingly mobile world.  In only a few short years, smartphones have become the norm rather than a rarity. But what does this mean for today’s nonprofit organizations? How can the sector capitalize on the rapidly changing ways people are connecting with news, information, and each other?

Here at El Pomar Foundation we’ve decided to tackle the challenge by making our blog friendlier to our mobile users. Whether you have an iPhone, Andorid, or Blackberry in your pocket, you can now more easily access the latest news from El Pomar no matter where you go.


Taking the Leadership Challenge…Seriously

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Jeff Hopfenbeck

During an oh-too-long layover in Chicago O’hare on my way back to Colorado over President’s Day weekend, I worked on a speech I will likely never deliver. That sounds funny and, believe me, it felt a little odd. But this was a literal part of the leadership challenge presented by Kouzes and Posner in their widely-read book, The Leadership Challenge. Despite my initial skepticism, I was surprised by the amount I was able to gain from the exercise.


Crowdsourced Philanthropy: Risks and Rewards

Friday, March 16th, 2012

How can technology help engage the public in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector? Could crowdsourcing be a new way for today’s corporations to make a difference? Should corporate philanthropic dollars be given away, as Gmail developer Paul Buchheit wrote in 2009, by “random people on the internet?”

A recent article on social media hub by Kellie Clapper, assistant VP at State Farm Insurance, discusses crowdsourced philanthropy, its risks, and some of its potential rewards.


$61,500, Two days, 350 Miles, 12 Organizations

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Ben Jourdan

Two weeks ago I found myself in a car not registered in my name with $61,500 in the trunk.  I whipped through the winding roads of Custer, Fremont, Chaffee, and Park counties of Colorado with my Ray-Bans on singing along to, “Take the Money and Run” by the Steve Miller Band. (more…)

A Tale of Two Towns

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Stephanie South

In the northwest corner of the state, there are two towns.

Rangely, Colorado, population 2,500, and Dinosaur (yes, I said Dinosaur), Colorado, population 350.

Roughly 20 miles apart, neither is a tourist destination. In fact, most Coloradans, including a girl like me who grew up only two hours away, think of them only as a singular pit stop on the way to more acclaimed locations like Jackson Hole, Wyoming, or Swan Valley, Idaho. However, after a trip to the Northwest Region with fellow Northwest Regional Coordinator Emily Orbanek, I think of them quite differently and, once again, experienced firsthand the importance of the boots El Pomar puts on the ground through the Regional Partnerships program.

Allow me to paint you a picture.


Philanthropy 101

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Twelve girls from The Colorado Springs School huddled to have their picture taken during a recent tour of El Pomar’s Penrose House. The picture was taken in the powder room that once belonged to Julie Penrose. The girls took the tour and attended a presentation by Senior Vice President Matt Carpenter and Fellows Stephanie South and Sabrina Ragaller as a part of their weeklong curriculum regarding careers in philanthropy. They were given the chance to act as grantmakers with funds (cookies) to allocate to one of two nonprofits—Stephanie’s potbelly pig sanctuary or Sabrina’s group dedicated to reintroducing the dodo bird into existence…in Colorado Springs. The simulation, meant to be both fun and educational, introduced the girls to several potential careers in philanthropy and gave them an opportunity to put into practice what they had been learning regarding best practices of nonprofits.